By Rick Reeno
Eric Gomez, Vice President of Golden Boy Promotions, has advised BoxingScene.com that a letter was received from IBF, which orders Abner Mares to schedule an immediate rematch with Joseph Agbeko. The final bout of Showtime's bantamweight tournament took place on Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Mares won a twelve round majority decision to unify the IBF and WBC silver titles, but it was referee Russell Mora's performance during the fight that overshadowed anything that was accomplished in the ring.
Despite several warnings to Mares over numerous low blows, Mora never penalized the boxer. Additionally, Mora issued two controversial knockdown calls against Agbeko - including one in the first when Agbeko slipped and a second one in eleventh when Agbeko went down from a low blow. The rematch has to take place by December 14, 2011 and a purse bid has been scheduled for September 15.
"[The IBF] observed several low blow fouls committed by Abner Mares. While the referee, Russell Mora, issued numerous warnings for low blows during the course of the bout, he neglected to deduct points for these fouls. With 1:03 left in round eleven, Joseph Agbeko was hit with a low blow foul that forced him to the canvas. Mr. Mora determined that the blow landed by Mares was legal and began to count indicating that a knockdown had occurred. Based upon our review of the bout, it has been determined by the IBF that inappropriate conduct by the referee affected the outcome of the fight," wrote IBF president Daryl Peoples.
Golden Boy plans to speak with Showtime to determine if there are any available television dates to stage the fight in 2011. If Showtime doesn't have any available dates, or money, the rematch would likely get pushed to 2012.
In an earlier interview with BoxingScene.com's Keith Idec, the director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Keith Kizer, said Mora was not happy with his performance in the fight and regreted not taking a point away from Mares.